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Chicago Newborn Photographer: WINTER FAMILY

There’s some parents that honestly should wear a super-hero cape, and wear it proudly. With four kids, home-schooling, and moving, I think I’d be one juice box away from a full-on breakdown. But Derek & Tatum, well, they make it look easy. Helps that their kids are epically well behaved, but that didn’t happen by accident. Years of thoughtful teaching, patience, and living-by-example, have cultivated kids that are equally fun as they are polite. While I may or may not be eating Kit Kat Minis straight out of the bag right now- they had healthy snacks as intermission from essentially our “Play date.” If I could sum the Winters up in one word it’d be: “Impressive.” Unless you’re playing Derek (the dad) in ping pong, they are the most humble, non-presumptuous family. They may look like they have it all together, (cuz I’m pretty sure they do!) but with every bragging right at their disposal, they keep it calm, cool, and collected. (With 4 kids! One of which Miss Reagan, being a newborn! Yeah…Impressive right?)

We’ve been friends with this family for years so it’s always great getting to capture some memories with them. My favorite this time was when Ava, the oldest, mid-shoot, goes: “I think you should have a baby.” I didn’t know how to respond….People didn’t yet know that I was pregnant, but I think if someone asks you something, they deserve an answer.” So…Out came my preggo news. (: Ava (and family) were genuinely excited for us and makes me all the more excited for our own little one to get here.

Derek & Tatum, ya’ll are parenting warriors! I’m sure it feels like chaos at times, but honestly, the kids are amazing! Each one with their own distinct personality. Love seeing them grow up! Keep doin’ what ya’ll are doin’, you’ve got a really great thing goin’. I may need some of your parenting genius. (:

Congrats on Raegan! She’s beautiful!!



With a household of two full energy boys and a brand new baby girl, the Siler house is full! It’s full of fun…Full of love…And lots and lots of laughs. Knowing my own ultrasound was happening the very next day from capturing the Silers, my nostalgia was on overload in all the best ways.

I hope to have a home that’s even a smidgen the amount of fun these guys have with each other. I hope that even when things get crazy, I still take time to cuddle up with my kiddos and watch that animated movie for the bazillionth time with them, because they love it. I hope that my kids are as kind, considerate, and adorable as these three. The unsolicited hugs were heart melters. As was having some time with the newest addition, miss Paige. Oh my! Oh my! She is precious! She’s already tough. Having 2 big brothers who so excitedly like to run in and out of her room, who affectionately poke her adorable cheeks, roll around the floor with her, like she’s been a part of the family all along. Whether it’s moments of just sitting and adoring the beauty of a newborn, or running around the back yard, creating obstacle courses, and having a carefree summer day, I could get used to this. All of this! I admire my momma clients who’ve gone before me. I respect the dad’s that I see so involved in loving their family. And I cannot wait to join the club. Amy & Steve, I know your days are full, but honestly, your family is incredible. I love the kids. They’re not only physically a reflection of you, but their spunky fun nature, mixed with their genuine care for others is as well. Keep pressing on, you’re doing so much right! Much Much Love, Melissa



The other day I saw the newly posted “most popular baby names” list of the year. Each name more unique and “out-there’ than the next! We see this all the time in weddings too. Trends that hit the market, last a second, and then couples are over it. Hey, to each there own. If you want to pave your own path, have at it! Brian & Megan, they are as classic and timeless as you get. Starting with Megan’s dress that we’re kinnnnda obsessed with. (: From dresses, to venues, to decor, each part of their day will stand the test of time. Which is good, cuz these two are going to have an amazing life-time together! Congrats guys!

PHOTOGRAPHY: Melissa Marie Photography:

CEREMONY: St. James The Apostle Church:

RECEPTION: Noah’s Event Venue:***&adgroup={adgroupname}&gclid=COLgtf7Ayc0CFQYIaQod5FMIMA


Chicago Engagement Photos: TYLER + KATE

I once made a mistake while essentially living in India, to watch the movie, “The Vow.” Terrible, terrible idea. It’s actually quite a good movie (Yes, sappy chick-flick, don’t judge me!), but why in the world did I think it was a good idea to watch a movie where the wife gets in an accident and loses all her memories of her adoring husband; while I was thousands of miles away from own? Yeah…Not the best idea. (:  So why did I think that bringing images to edit while shooting a destination wedding in Greece was a good idea? Sure, I travel quite a bit, and 20 hours of travel gives anyone ample time to “get stuff done” (if you can fight the jet-lag.) and I like to utilize every moment I’ve got to be efficient, but editing Tyler & Kate’s engagement photos from our session just before my trip may have been a sappy movie oversight decision on my part. They too have been together 10 years, and I challenge anyone to find two people together that long who are absolutely SMITTEN about each other. No posing. No prompts. Just absolute lose themselves in each other type of bliss. In a sense, it was a golden session to edit while away because if you’re going to have to put in extra hours while traveling, you surely want it to be over a couple like these two! But like that movie…It didn’t take long for my usually super independent, boundless traveling spirit, to really miss my husband. Especially since, the more I got to know Tyler the more I realized that he’s actually quite similar to my husband in a lot of ways. Good decision to edit while away and miss that husband of mind is iffy at best, but it surely is always a good idea to capture two people like these, who are absolutely made for each other! Helps that they’re kiiiinda gorgeous. (:



Walking through the muddy marshes wasn’t our plan A. It may not have even been on plan B, C, or D but after pulling up to our photo location (or what was supposed to be our photo location) to find bright orange construction fencing and a completly disassembled historic landmark that was under renovation, we had to “roll with it,” There is no better family to do that with than the Kraus’s. Wedge heels and all, they worked their way through the sharp muddy shrubbery, cracking jokes, and being absolute champs the whole time. Love this family, their playful spirits, and willingness to not kill me when plans change. (: